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Science. 2014 Jan 3;343(6166):94-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1243985.

Pregnenolone can protect the brain from cannabis intoxication.

Author information

1
INSERM, Neurocentre Magendie, Physiopathologie de la Plasticité Neuronale, U862, F-33000 Bordeaux, France.

Erratum in

  • Science. 2014 Feb 28;343(6174):969.

Abstract

Pregnenolone is considered the inactive precursor of all steroid hormones, and its potential functional effects have been largely uninvestigated. The administration of the main active principle of Cannabis sativa (marijuana), Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), substantially increases the synthesis of pregnenolone in the brain via activation of the type-1 cannabinoid (CB1) receptor. Pregnenolone then, acting as a signaling-specific inhibitor of the CB1 receptor, reduces several effects of THC. This negative feedback mediated by pregnenolone reveals a previously unknown paracrine/autocrine loop protecting the brain from CB1 receptor overactivation that could open an unforeseen approach for the treatment of cannabis intoxication and addiction.

Comment in

PMID:
24385629
PMCID:
PMC4057431
DOI:
10.1126/science.1243985
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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